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Force guides Schriever during Wingman Day

Chief Master Sgt. Steve Matthews and Staff Sgt. Andrew Skinner, both from the 50th Space Communications Squadron, engage in a water gun fight as part of the "Amazing gRace" competition during Wingman Day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, May 4, 2017. The event was one of a variety of team-focused activities Airmen engaged in during the day. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers)

Chief Master Sgt. Steve Matthews and Staff Sgt. Andrew Skinner, both from the 50th Space Communications Squadron, engage in a water gun fight as part of the "Amazing gRace" competition during Wingman Day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, May 4, 2017. The event was one of a variety of team-focused activities Airmen engaged in during the day. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers)

Staff Sgt. Jefrey Davis, 4th Space Operations Squadron, introduces himself during his “May the spiritual force be with you” class on Wingman Day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, May 4, 2017. The class focused on maintaining a positive mindset and overcoming the life’s challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Staff Sgt. Jefrey Davis, 4th Space Operations Squadron, introduces himself during his “May the spiritual force be with you” class on Wingman Day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, May 4, 2017. The class focused on maintaining a positive mindset and overcoming life’s challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, speaks during the opening event for Wingman Day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, May 4, 2017. Wingman Day provided an opportunity for Schriever Airmen to step out of their workplace and social circles to spend a day engaging in education and team building.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Chris DeWitt)

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, speaks during the Wingman Day opening event at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, May 4, 2017. Wingman Day provided an opportunity for Schriever Airmen to step out of their workplace and social circles to spend a day engaging in education and team building. (U.S. Air Force photo/Chris DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- --

 

Schriever Airmen stepped out of their workplace and social circles to spend a day engaging in education and team building during Wingman Day May 4.

“We offered 28 Wingman University classes and Airmen were able to choose the specific topics that were most applicable to building their own resilience skills,” said Jessica Schroeder, event organizer.

“The time set aside on Wingman Day for units to bond is critical in building these important social connections and morale.”

 

This rendition’s theme was “May the fourth be with you,” a nod to fictional space movies in light of Schriever’s critical space mission, with base leadership entering the fitness center to the Ellicott High School band’s rendition of the iconic “Imperial March.”

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing Commander, kicked off the event highlighting to the audience, (many of whom donned space movie-themed T-shirts), the importance of unit morale and working as a team.

“Today is about resiliency, learning new skills and taking time for ourselves,” said Burt. “I want to take this day to take care of us through team building.”                                                 

The opening event also featured guest speaker Stephen Garbett, an Olympic athlete who related the struggles of learning how to master the sport of Skeleton (a competitive sport in which an individual races down a hill head first on a sled for the best possible time) to overcoming fears and building resiliency in life.

He learned about the sport while critically ill in the hospital, watching the Olympics on television. The threatening illness ignited a realization in him of how precious and short life is, and he chose to pursue goals he previously neglected.

“From that point on, I wanted to do two things in life; become the first in my family to graduate college and try the sport Skeleton,” said Garbett. “I’ve had a dream since I was a kid to become representative of the U.S. and an Olympian. I chose to pursue this dream. ”

Garbett said he wouldn’t have been able to fulfill his dream without teamwork.

“While it’s an individual sport and you need to be the best you can be, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to work together as a team,” said Garbett. “My teammates and I believed if we worked together, we can be the best in the world; after all, it’s not about beating each other – it’s about beating the Russians, the Germans and so on,” he laughed.

After his speech and a refresher on the day’s activities, Airmen departed to attend their registered classes throughout the base, each with various focuses – from spiritual and financial resiliency, to cake decorating and self-defense techniques.

The classes did have one constant, however - it brought Airmen from different squadrons and units to spend the morning learning together.

Schroeder hopes the next Wingman Day in October will further expand on the team building and resiliency concepts which help strengthen the base as a whole.

“We want to build on the Wingman University concept and continue to offer classes that allow Airmen to build and practice their resilience skills,” Schroeder said. “Wingman Day offers us the much-needed opportunity to focus on our own resilience and bond with those in our unit.” 
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